iPhone Gems: The Complete Guide to All 33 Twitter Apps
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Fastweet is a basic Twitter client with an emphasis on simply reading through your Twitter timeline. The developer provides two versions, the free Fastweet which is limited to loading 200 tweets, and Fastweet 2K ($2) which can load up to 2000 tweets. Other than this limitation, both versions provide identical features. Fastweet is divided into three basic sections: your main timeline, a listing of replies and direct messages, and a section for posting new tweets.
The timeline view displays 50 tweets per page. Next and Previous buttons at the top of the screen allow you to navigate between pages to view older tweets. The replies screen works in a similar manner, displaying both public replies and direct messages, with color-coding to distinguish between them.
Tapping on an individual tweet will open a view of that tweet with options for replying, retweeting, sending a direct message to the user, or marking the tweet as a favorite.
Tapping the reply button when viewing a tweet, or tapping the Tweet button in the bottom-right corner of the main screen opens a basic window to compose a new tweet. No enhanced features are provided here for adding location or photo links; this is just a basic text entry field.
Fastweet provides no other features for searching Twitter, viewing user profiles, or much of anything else. In fact, Fastweet’s only real strength is its ability to quickly load up a large number of tweets and allow you to browse back through your entire timeline. This feature is less useful in the free version, since you are limited to only 200 tweets, a number that many other Twitter clients can load as well. The ability of Fastweet 2K to load up to 2000 tweets may be of interest to some users, but in our opinion a Twitter client with an actual search feature can accomplish this in a much more useful manner than simply trying to manually read through thousands of messages. iLounge Rating (Fastweet): C. iLounge Rating (Fastweet 2K): C.
Nambu is a free multi-purpose client that supports Twitter, FriendFeed, Ping.fm, Laconica and Identi.ca. The general user interface is very similar to Twitterrific, although replies and direct messages are in a separate timeline, and advanced search capabilities are also available. Your Twitter feed is presented in a single timeline, with buttons at the top to refresh, post a new tweet, and select between the main timeline, replies/DMs, and search. Buttons at the bottom provide access to FriendFeed and Ping.fm.
Tapping on an individual tweet opens a detailed view of that particular tweet, with additional buttons to reply publicly, reply via direct message, translate into English, follow or unfollow the user, mark the tweet as a favorite or flag the tweet.
Nambu supports only basic tweet posting, with no options for inserting photo links or location information. A simple “Send to Twitter” dialog box is provided, with a character counter in the bottom-right corner.
Tapping on the search button in the top right corner presents the search screen, where you can either enter a basic search term to perform a simple search or tap the target reticle button to search for tweets near your present location. Tapping the Advanced button brings up an advanced search criteria screen, where you can enter much more detailed criteria such as word and phrase matching, searching for specific people, searching by location, or searching by date. A History button at the top of the advanced screen also allows you to access a listing of previous searches.
Nambu does a reasonably good job as a Twitter client, providing basic browsing and posting capabilities with an above-average search feature. Despite its lack of sophisticated Twitter features, Nambu may appeal to users looking for a client that integrates Twitter with some of the other social networking services. iLounge Rating: B.
Twinkle (free) is a variation on the usual Twitter app theme, providing a slightly more location-based focus via Tapulous’ own service. Rather than signing in directly to Twitter, Twinkle requires that you set up a Tapulous account, and you can in fact choose to use Twinkle with or without Twitter integration enabled. By default, Twinkle shows you messages posted by other Twinkle users near your present location.
Twinkle works primarily on Tapulous’ own service, with Twitter enabled as a secondary service under the application’s identity settings.
Once Twitter support has been enabled, your Twinkle timeline will show information from both your Twitter friends and your Twinkle friends integrated into a single timeline from the “Home” section. Direct Messages to you are displayed in the “Messages” section. Twinkle also provides unread counts above each button to indicate where any new messages are pending.
Tapping on an individual message from the timeline will show a detailed view of that message and options to publicly reply, send a private (direct) message, re-ping the original message or view the user’s profile. From a user’s profile, you can view a list of their other messages, view a list of their Tapulous friends (not their Twitter friends), invite them to Twinkle if they are not already a Twinkle user, or follow or stop following them.
Posting a new message with Twinkle provides a standard message entry field with options for including your present location (enabled by default), or attaching a photo link either from your photo library or the iPhone’s camera.
While Twinkle takes an interesting approach by attempting to integrate Twitter through another service provided by the developer, this hampers its usability as a full-featured Twitter client and creates a slightly more confusing end-user experience. The distinction between your Twitter and your Tapulous profile is sometimes unclear when using this app, and in many places where you might expect to be viewing Twitter-related information, information from the Tapulous network is used instead, such as when viewing friend listings. Twinkle’s location-based services work quite well since it provides more detailed location information than most Twitter clients, and therefore can be very useful for networking with other Twinkle users in your local geographic area. Otherwise, however, Twinkle and Tapulous duplicate much of the functionality already provided by Twitter itself while not really adding anything new to the mix. Twinkle does a reasonably good job as a basic Twitter client, and has a very nice user interface, but serious Twitter users will find it deficient compared to the many other more Twitter-specific options out there. iLounge Rating: B-.
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